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MLS Video: Osvaldo Alonso – From Cuban defector to MLS star

Sep 13, 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

For a kid in Cuba with a gift for soccer, everything changed when he took a trip with his team to the United States, and never went back.

Now, with a family, American citizenship, and a job playing his lifelong passion, Osvaldo Alonso is living his dream with the Seattle Sounders.

Will he get a shot to play for the USMNT? That’s for the Cuban federation to decide.  But for now, the defensive midfielder continues to ply his trade in the middle of the CenturyLink Field pitch, dispossessing opposing players with great precision.

  1. nygiantstones - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    I would love to see Ozzy playing CDM behind Bradley over that hack Jones!

  2. perrinbar - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Does it strike anyone else as nuts that the Cuban Soccer Federation gets to decide? I mean, they won’t let him play for them, so why should they get to prevent him from playing elsewhere?

    • talgrath - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:59 AM

      Keep in mind that the rule was created precisely to protect teams like the USMNT. If people can change their national allegiance (for soccer, at least) at the drop of a hat, then we might see defections all the time from the USMNT. If Landon Donovan decided to play for another country, we would lose our collective minds! Should there be a way to petition FIFA if someone politically defect? Absolutely, but making the rules for that could be very difficult.

  3. braxtonrob - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    By very definition, if you can make a quick case that you DEFECTED, then you should be granted (relatively) immediate permission to play for your fellow citizenry of your newly-chosen country.

    FIFA needs to fix this, fast.

  4. braxtonrob - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    Cuba had their chance to treat their citizen like an adult, and the govt. there continues to choos not to.

    Os should not be punished for ‘govt’l childishness’.

    FIFA, if your inane enough to pick Qatar, then surely you can find merit in pushing Osvaldo’s case through so he can play for HIS country (while he’s still in his prime).

  5. footballer4ever - Sep 14, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Cuban is not known for creating footballers since it’s mostly a baseball and boxing type of country. Nevertheless, football popularity is rapidly growing throughout the non footballing caribbean countries. Besides Ozzie’s skillful hard working ways, i do find appealing he’s a humble and not a loudmouth type of guy which realistically speaking a significant percentage of Cubans tend to be.

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